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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Adventure > Science Fiction > TV > Smallville – The Complete Seventh Season (Blu-ray + DVD/Warner Home Video)

Smallville – The Complete Seventh Season (Blu-ray + DVD/Warner Home Video)

 

Picture: B+/B-     Sound: B+/B-     Extras: C+     Episodes: B-

 

Somebody save me!  Or at least save this super series from itself.  Smallville: The Complete Seventh Season has just arrived on both Blu-ray and DVD, but even with a huge following and interesting plots the series is definitely beginning to show some wear.  Acting as its own Kryptonite, Smallville has managed to infuse so much of the Superman universe into its seven seasons that it is beginning to be a bit much.  The first three or four seasons of the series safely followed a general or stripped down storyline that followed the teenage Clark Kent as he discovered the man (of steel) he was soon to become.  In the past three seasons, however, the writers have seemed to kick Smallville up several levels (at least as far as pace goes); as they begin to squeeze everything from the Superman Encyclopedia into the series as fast and blatant as possible.  Whereas at first seeing characters from the Justice League or even Zod appear in an episode was beyond amazing, now it seems to be a weekly gimmick to add another classic DC Hero or Superman Villain to each episode.  It has not gotten to the point of ‘intolerable’ yet, but the inevitable seems to be slowly creeping up on the beloved series that the world may be better without Superman…or at least Smallville and it is time to fly out gracefully.

 

Beyond the fact that basically everyone in the world has heard of Superman, Smallville is most likely one of the most recognizable Superman series to every hit the small screen.  As previously mentioned, the writers kicked the series up this season by instilling many of the classic Superman characters and story arches right into the heart of the Smallville universe.  The Seventh Season starts right where Season Six left off with a Clark clone or a “Bizarro Clark” running amok in Smallville with all Clark’s powers, but  also a few added weaknesses.  Besides being completely void of morals, “Bizarro Clark” also has similar human needs as Clark that make him act as though he has succumb to power of Red Kryptonite that makes from some interesting situations.  The General Zod and Brainiac plot that was discussed in earlier seasons is reignited in Season Seven, but with a slight twist.  The Brainiac/Zod storyline is very interesting, but is dismissed a little prematurely as Clark’s Kryptonian cousin (Kara) arrives to ‘babe up’ the series.  Kara (Laura Vandervoort) enters the series as the ‘mysterious blonde’ that saves Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) from near death.  This particular season focuses on many ‘mini’ story arches that detract from overall character development that has always been a part of the series in the past.  Season Seven features many odd happenings with old favorites such as Lex Luthor and Lana Lang and also features the return of other characters such as Green Arrow and Dr. Curtis Knox (Dean Cain from Lois and Clark) the crazy meteor experimenter.  Even with the season being an offshoot in some senses, in others it maintained the heart that fans have come to expect from Smallville.  Where it is by far not the best season, it still manages to pass with flying colors…mainly red and blue.

 

The technical features on the Blu-ray release of Smallville: Season Seven are in line with previous High Definition releases, with a slight upgrade in the area of sound.  The picture is presented in a 1080p High Definition 1.85 X 1 Widescreen that is very clean and crisp as it projects a vibrant array of colors with solid blacks that make for a great picture presentation.  The sound is a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround that makes good use of the entire sound stage as action projects from the screen with balanced voices, atmosphere, and ‘pop’ that will make any superhero fan happy. 

 

The DVD does not demonstrate the same high quality picture and sound as the Blu-ray but does a nice job nevertheless.  The picture is once again presented in a solid Widescreen that has good colors and adequate blacks, but does not standup next to the Blu-ray release.  The same goes for the sound in its Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround that just does not exhibit the ‘snap’ and ‘boom’ that is found on the Blu-ray; as it does not encompass the entire sound stage quite as well.  Extras are the same on the DVD and Blu-ray releases.  Some features, however, are upgraded to a High Definition quality for the Blu-ray release originating in HD as they turned out to have been.

 

The extras are a tad lackluster and are weak in rewatchable quality, but nice never the less.  Extras include Cast/Creator commentaries on 2 key episodes (Siren and Persona), unaired scenes (in High Definition), Supergirl: The Last Daughter of Krypton Featurette, Jimmy on Jimmy Featurette Bringing Together Jimmy Olsen’s Past (Jack Larson and Marc McClure) and Present (Aaron Ashmore and Sam Huntington), Smallville Legends: Kara and Chronicles of Krypton, Smallville: Visions Digital Comic Book (in High Definition).  The Last Daughter of Krypton and the Jimmy Olsen Featurettes were the most interesting and rewatchable as they gave insight into the Superman mythology past and present, but even at that they were not the past Superman featurettes this reviewer has ever seen.  A nice Blu-ray set overall that this reviewer is more than happy to own.

 

Only time can tell what will happen to Smallville; but maybe if the series continues to go at this fast pace it can turn back time to when the series had a solid plot.

 

 

-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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